Religion

1. According to Martin, what are the three main types of authority? Make sure to discuss each individually.
2. How, according to Martin, does a “return to origins” narrative function? Why does Martin say that appeals to authority reflect more about us rather than the authorities themselves?
3. What, according to Martin, is projection? How do certain religious texts, or parts of them, ostensibly resist such projection?
4. What, according to Martin, are the different ways to challenge authority? Make sure to give relevant examples.
5. According to Martin, what are the ways in which religious practioners often respond to critiques of authority?
6. Why does Martin say that almost every group that identifies as Christian uses different criteria for membership? What does this say about the nature of religious identity?
7. How do “power pays” establish special authority to one’s own group and distance others from group identity?
8. Discuss the different ways in which different groups have identified themselves as Christians? What role does the Bible play in such identifications?
9. Why does Martin say that there is no such thing as a unified Hindu identity? How does the example of Hinduism show the difficulty in establishing general definitions of religious identity?
10. What is the relationship between authenticity and essentialism? Why does Martin say that it seems that religions contain more variety than similarity?
11. Why does Martin say that we should replace questions of authenticity with investigations into the process of identification?

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